A cat we had when I was a child had a serious theatrical streak, and would feign illness or injury to get attention. On one occasion, for instance, she accidentally (but genuinely) managed to get her paw caught in a suitcase as it was being closed. I’m sure it smarted. She limped around for quite some time, and we petted her and fussed over her.  Then we discovered through careful surveillance that she was only limping when she thought we were watching. If she didn’t think she was being observed, she was fine. Drama queen.

This week has brought more than our usual share of crises of various sorts, all survivable, but we’d be just as happy if everyone we loved were healthy and the plumber hadn’t been here this week as often as the mailman and the pump weren’t making that noise that guarantees that it’s going to quit giving us water on demand–really, it means it this time–as soon as it can catch one of us in the shower with a head full of shampoo.

And first child has sprained his ankle badly, and is hopping around on one foot, using a cane for support when he goes to work, and being spoiled with extravagant delicacies like ibuprofen and bags of crushed ice for the swelling.

So guess what Crispin’s doing. Yeah. Limping, favoring his left front paw. It’s actually quite pitiful, though it’s been impossible to get a photo of his three-leggedness.  This always raises the question, as my friend Sandi notes, of how many days to wait before taking a limping dog to the vet. Is it Lyme disease? A sprain? A foxtail caught between the paw pads? A laceration? Okay, the laceration one is easy, since there’s, you know, all that blood (we’ve been there, done that), but otherwise, it’s sort of a mystery.

We’ve examined the paw and found no cuts, tears, bruises, torn nails, hot spots or foxtails. So the rule around here is that as long as the critter in question doesn’t seem to be in serious pain and is still playing, eating, and appears otherwise healthy, we wait 3 days before going to the vet.  These things have been known to clear up spontaneously after 2 days and 23 hours.

I just hope it’s really the vet Crispin needs, and not the local paper’s drama critic.